My evergreen (blue spruce i believe) is dying from the top down. Do you think...

Asked September 6, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

My evergreen (blue spruce i believe) is dying from the top down. Do you think it could be from the lack of water or a disease? We live in Woodbury and have not seen any orher evergreens doing that. Thanks!

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

I'm sorry to hear about your evergreen's problems but it is hard for me to diagnose just what might be going on without some more information. If you are able to attach a few high quality photos of the tree, and the areas that are dying back it would help.
It is important to be sure of the kind of tree this is because some diseases and insect infestations are particular to tree species.

How old is this tree?
Where is it planted (in a woods, out in a lawn, on a roadway, etc)
Has it been watered regularly - especially during the drought conditions last fall and winter? (Many of our established trees are just starting to show stress from the drought last year.)
Is it near a roadway where it could be affected by road salt?
Has anyone applied any herbicides in the area - especially ones that are applied to the grass?
Do you see any signs of insect activity on the bark or leaves?
Any fungal growths at the root flare or on the trunk or branches?
Any signs of pitch (sap) leaking from the trunk?

Here is a pictorial guide from the Mn DNR about many common spruce problems. Perhaps you can find a match to some of your tree's symptoms:

Thanks for contacting AaE. I will look for your answers to these questions.